It’s WFC-eve and we hope that you’re all looking forward to the big day tomorrow – we know we are!!
Final preparations are underway here at WFC HQ and you’ll be pleased to hear that it’s all going relatively smoothly. However, as the conference draws ever closer, we thought we’d take the opportunity to shine the spotlight on another one of our fabulous exhibitors, Hodge.
This wonderful company are also one of the consortium companies on the Welsh Financial Services Graduate Programme, and thanks to them a number of our Grads have secured full-time, permanent positions (why not read about Katy Thomas’, one of our former Grads, experience here).
Hodge are renowned for their specialist knowledge and the expertise which they have acquired over their many decades in business. Their founder Sir Julian Hodge, is widely acknowledged as the catalyst behind the development of the Financial Services sector that now exists here in South Wales. It is largely thanks to Hodge, whose family values are still at the core of their business, that we’re here hosting the Welsh Finance Conference today (or tomorrow to be exact).
Hodge Bank offers a wide range of savings and loans products for both private individuals and commercial clients. They’re a respected company who supply clear and straightforward deposit products and build long-lasting relationships with their commercial lending clients through achieving vital property investment and development deals.
This isn’t all however! Hodge Lifetime is a business dedicated to the retirement market and offers one of the broadest range of mortgages aimed toward mature borrowers (it’s never too early to start thinking about mortgages and retirement!).
Aside from their many products and services, Hodge set themselves apart from the crowd further by being an independent family controlled company, highlighting that the core of their business is underpinned by these family values (You won’t find any of the corporate traits associate with Wolf of Wall Street here folks!).
Corporate Social Responsibility also plays a large role within Hodge, for example, did you know that over 75% of Hodge is owned by The Hodge Foundation? Now, you may be wondering why that’s so important, but the Hodge Foundation is a charity that supports a number of welfare, medical, academic and educational causes; Hodge say that this is the driving force behind them wanting to do the best for their customers in the knowledge that they are helping good causes which are important to them.
Hodge’s strong and valued reputation for delivering great service to their customers can be seen in everything that they do. Their reputation and emphasis on family-values not only makes them the perfect provider of financial products and services but also an excellent employer!
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to get more of an insight into their fantastic company and the opportunities that they can offer you tomorrow by making sure you stop by their table at the Conference!
See you all very soon! – The WFC Grad Team
If you’ve just finished school or college (we’re jealous – we wish we were still your age!) you’re probably beginning to think about what’s next for you. All too often, students feel pressured to attend university seeing it as the natural route post A-levels and although university is great for some (and we’re not just talking about Freshers week here), for others it isn’t. But not to worry, there are alternative routes available that can inspire you in different ways. Take for example Deloitte’s Apprenticeship Scheme. Deloitte apprenticeships are all about learning and developing – why not read more on their website or by clicking here.
By now you’re no doubt aware that we really love a good case-study and the one below is no different. This week’s case study comes from Daniel Williams who’s recently undertaken an apprenticeship at Deloitte. Throughout his apprenticeship, Daniel has worked on the Deloitte Business Support Team and is currently working on the Regulatory Compliance Team as one of the business administration apprentices in Cardiff. Daniel’s had a hectic couple of months with his involvement with GLOBE, the LGBT Professional Network at Deloitte, to working on Deloitte’s One Million Futures campaign. As you can tell, Daniel’s time on the Deloitte apprenticeship programme has been extremely rewarding and varied. You can also read Daniel’s first blog here. Over to you Daniel…
My name is Daniel Williams, I am one out of the ten first business administration apprentices working for Deloitte in Cardiff. Throughout my apprenticeship I have worked on the Deloitte Business Support Team and currently am working on the Regulatory Compliance Team. A few months have gone by so here’s what I’ve been getting up to:
I am a proud member of GLOBE, the LGBT Professional Network at Deloitte. My partner and I joined GLOBE at London Pride 2016 and it was amazing to experience that level of acceptance within the company I work for. I aspire to promote diversity and inclusion in Wales. Together with my colleague Michelle Skinner I co-launched GLOBE Cymru the regional network. Being part of this network allows me to be myself, confidently, in my workplace and makes me feel proud to work in such an open environment.
UK & Swiss Directors & Partners Bi-Annual Meeting 2016: One Million Futures
I was given the opportunity to take on the role of the compère at the UK & Swiss Bi-Annual Directors and Partners Meeting 2016. My role was to introduce One Million Futures and share my own story. I hope that through sharing my story, I can inspire other students to consider a career at Deloitte.
When it came to my speech I was very nervous. I was faltering as I began my speech then paused a moment and I was embarrassed. I couldn’t allow this to happen so I took a deep breath and settled my nerves. In a calm manner I finished the rest of my speech with confidence. As my speech came to a close I thanked the audience and silence fell for split second before the applause. The relief I felt afterwards knowing that I had overcome my nerves was amazing, and I am very proud that I faced it head on.
In my last blog I shared my story of weight loss, which is a challenge I’ve faced in my personal life. I am excited to tell you that since my last blog entry that I’ve furthered my achievements and lost a total of 3 1/2 stone. Overall I’m a much healthier and happier. Thank you to my friends, family and colleagues for all their support! Continuing my journey, a few friends and I decided to take on a challenge of endurance. On Sunday 3rd July, my friends and I completed our sponsored 50 mile walk in remembrance of Sarah Price, who sadly took her own life due to mental illness. We raised £723.50 for Mind the mental health charity. The feeling of accomplishment I had after this walk was satisfying. I was proud that I had raised both awareness and funds for a good cause, plus used it to work towards my personal goals.
Past, present, future.
Overall in the year that I have been in the firm I have achieved an amazing amount in such a short space of time! I’ve passed my apprenticeship, improved my overall wellbeing, and made lifelong friends. I am far happier and more confident than I could imagine. I have improved my life completely and things are only going to continue to get better. Good luck to the next intake of apprentices! You’ve got exciting times ahead of you!
What a couple of months Daniel has had! If you’d like to hear more about the routes Deloitte can offer to you, swing by their stand at our conference. Ross Flanigan of Deloitte will also be holding a seminar 11:50-12:20 on the day to discuss the alternative routes into Financial and Professional Services. So if you’ve been inspired by Daniel’s story, come along and find out more!
The WFC Team.
Having already written about Atradius you may be thinking not another credit insurance post, but not to worry – organising the conference hasn’t made us lose our minds quite yet. This time we’re talking about Atradius Collections, a separate business entity within the Atradius Group and, as such, is deserving of its very own post.
The main activity of the Atradius Collections will come as no surprise; they collect insured and uninsured debts universally (they’re present in 25 countries and cover 96% of the globe for those of you who like statistics!). Debt Collection may have a pretty bad rep, but dealing with Business 2 Business debt greatly reduces the hostile nature of the job. In fact, the Collections department attempt to retain positive relationships between businesses where possible – and 87% of their customers agree that they achieve their aim (another stat for you!).
Aside from the debt collection, the department also offers services such as Invoice Checking (where they scrutinize invoices and the customers’ ability to pay) and Insolvency Services (where the department work closely with lawyers to make claims against bankrupt debtors).
The Collections department consists of several teams, the Client Relations team provide a single point of contact with their customers, coordinating cases of outstanding debts and building relationships ensuring that clients receive the best service possible. The operations team is where you’ll find the ‘Collectors’ (sounds ominous doesn’t it?) who are responsible for chasing companies with unpaid invoices for a payment. Atradius Collections also have their own commercial team (who work to bring in new clients), finance team and HR team.
Atradius Collections has been a great supporter of the Welsh Financial Services Graduate scheme, offering our graduates the opportunity to work in this exciting industry. They are furthering the support for us by exhibiting on the 29th November at City Hall, make sure you come by and say hello!
The WFC Team.
It’s another week closer to the conference (try to contain your excitement!) meaning it’s time for another round of fabulous blog entries! This week, we have another case study from one of our tremendously hard-working Graduates! Today, it’s Em’s turn to tell us all about her time on the Graduate scheme; and like so many of us here on the scheme, her career path didn’t start out on the traditional route towards Financial Services…
“I was attracted to the Welsh Financial Services Graduate Programme because it offers such a unique opportunity that you don’t often come across – to work for four different and highly reputable financial services employers whilst also gaining a fully-funded Masters qualification is very hard to come by!
I didn’t come from the typical financial/ business background that you may expect as my degree was in Psychology. I had recently graduated from Cardiff University and was working in Clinical Psychology before realising that I fancied a career change. I wasn’t really sure what roles and opportunities were available in the financial services sector (let alone what I wanted to do in the long-term!), so the chance to experience four different roles – the chance to ‘test the water’ – was something that really appealed to me.
I’ve been really lucky to have three very diverse placements, all of which I really enjoyed. It has been great to learn so many new skills and to experience a range of organisational cultures. My previous placements include a Business Development role in the Finance Wales New Investments team, a marketing research role at Grant Thornton and a role at Admiral in their Household department. My role at Admiral has been a really steep but exciting learning curve because it’s so different to my previous placements and I’ve never worked in insurance before (although I now know home insurance inside out which will be useful when I buy my first house!)
My day-to-day work is always varied and no two days are the same – something that really suits me and the way I like to work. I always have a lot of projects to work on which I like because it keeps my workload varied. Aside from my projects I’ll sometimes have a quick chat with people working in different departments so I can find out a bit more about what they do and how the separate Household sub-departments work in synergy. I’m on the sales team for the conference, so I’ll also spend a bit of time contacting companies to see if they are interested in exhibiting at the conference.
At lunchtime I’ll either have lunch in one of the many chillout areas (that include pingpong tables and Xboxes!) or I’ll meet some of the other graduates also working in town for lunch somewhere – it’s always nice to catch up with them and find out how they’re getting on. There’s also a huge range of restaurants so we can keep it varied!”
And that’s not all – since beginning work on the blog, Em has secured herself a permanent position!
“I’ve been really lucky and have just secured myself a permanent role back at Finance Wales – where I completed my first placement – working in an Investment Support role in the Technology Venture Investments department. It’s great to be back working at the organisation where I really enjoyed my first placement, and it’s exciting learning a new role. I think my placement at Finance Wales really sparked my interest in investments, and now I’m ready and excited to learn more and start my career! “
Another one of our graduates snapped up and starting their career in the financial services industry – we love a happy ending! Em’s success story really does highlight the message that you don’t need to worry if you haven’t got a business or finance-related degree as it doesn’t mean you can’t have a career in financial services!
Have you seen what’s on the agenda for the day? Head on over to see our line-up of speakers, seminars and the full list of exhibitors to get an idea of what you’re in for on the day! Excited? Let us know @WFSGrads! We’ll be here!
It can sometimes be a bit daunting not knowing exactly what job role you want to go in to!
The Welsh Finance Conference is just around the corner as is Christmas – but that’s not quite as interesting now is it?! As everyone here at WFC HQ is getting excited (and quite stressed, organising a conference is no easy task), we thought we’d introduce you to another one of our fab companies who will be exhibiting at our conference, ACCA.
ACCA has been an established household name in Financial Services for quite some time, the institution was founded in 1904, so that will give you an idea of just how long! With all of their experience, innovation and excellence, it’s really no wonder that ACCA is the world’s leading body for professional accountants.
However, despite being over 112 years old, the ACCA can’t be accused of being old-fashioned. On the contrary, their latest pioneering research into future of Professional Accounting (read it here – we’d highly recommend it!) gives an insight into the future of the profession and how the role of the accountant is changing. This research not only focuses on the drivers of change and the demands on the profession but what skills you’ll need to meet these, so if you’re considering a career in accountancy, this is definitely worth some consideration.
The ability to respond to change is pivotal in this day and age, especially within a constantly changing global marketplace. Financial Services is not alone in its mission to innovate. From September 2017 onwards, ACCA will themselves be re-invigorating their already highly-esteemed qualification. This update will now include a case-study on the ‘Strategic Business Leader’, something most of us aspire to be! This will utilise real-world scenarios to set challenges that will allow you to demonstrate how you can blend your technical, professional and ethical skills. Talking of which, did we mention that ACCA are the first accountancy body to include an ‘Ethics and Professional Skills’ module? Of course know-how is important, but so is ethical behaviour something which ACCA recognises as being vital for career success.
These changes will ensure that the ACCA qualification will be as relevant as possible so that ACCA professionals (and one day, this could be you!) continue to be the most valued and sought-after finance professionals across the globe.
The role of accountant is also becoming more global, ACCA supports 188,000 members and 480,000 students in 178 countries. However the ACCA Cymru Wales office can support you closer to home and they know what they’re doing having already supported 6,000 members and students from all sectors of the economy in Wales. Like ourselves, ACCA Cymru Wales aims to help train students and further develop professionals in order to make a significant contribution to Welsh business.
ACCA will be at Stand 24 on the day of the Conference so do head over there and have a chat with the ACCA Cymru Wales team about your career plan and perhaps even discuss their ground-breaking research on ‘Professional Accountants – The Future’. ACCA can’t wait to meet you all and to help you find out more about embarking on the next steps toward a professional education – their area of expertise (see, we told you they were fab!). If you’re mad enough to miss this event, or have any queries after the event (funny how we always remember our questions when it’s too late), drop them a line by emailing email@example.com. Or, if like your millennial friends here at WFC you’re a social media fiend, you can follow them on Twitter @ACCAWales to keep up to date with their latest news and events.
Until next time,
The WFC Team.
Hello WFC blog readers!!
Here we are for another instalment of a “Day in the life of…” to give you another great example of what a typical day is like for one of our busy graduates.
Today, our blog has been handed over to the lovely Hayley who has just moved onto her third placement at GM Financial. Hayley now works in the Treasury Department and is also our head of logistics for the Finance Conference – as head of logistics, Hayley, along with her team ensure that anything and everything that could possibly go wrong for the conference – doesn’t! So hold your applause until the end for this one!!
Here’s Hayley herself to tell us all about her experience within the Financial Services industry to date…
“I was initially attracted to this scheme as I felt that my C.V. was lacking relevant experience in the finance sector. The opportunity to gain experience in four different roles across different companies was one I could not turn down, especially when studying for a masters was also included. This was an unbelievable offer!
As mentioned earlier, I am currently on my third rotation, having already been lucky enough to experience underwriting at Atradius and a role in the Capital Accounting team at BBC Finance.
I’ve been very lucky and enjoyed all three of my placements so far and found the culture of all three companies is very diverse.
My current employer, GM Financial, provide car finance – mainly for Vauxhall. The role of the treasury department within this organisation is to ensure that the company has enough cash to be able to provide this finance to the marketplace.
A typical day for me will mean coming into work to check what the loan requirements for the day are and if the company requires more money, for example I will contact different banks to provide us with loans. I will then liaise with Finance to let them know our loan activity for the day.
My afternoons include a much more analytical and diverse role so activities can include using the Bloomberg terminal to find average foreign exchange and LIBOR rates for the month. Alternatively, it is quite often the case that my team and I will be taking part in conference calls with our European and American Treasury colleagues – but the scheme isn’t all business all the time!
The great thing about this scheme is that evenings often mean an opportunity to meet up with the other graduates over a glass of wine which is a great way to finish off a busy day of hard work!”
We couldn’t agree more about the glass of wine – here at marketing we’re more than partial to an after work drink! Thank-you Hayley for your Blog entry this week!
So there you have it, another great case study! As always, we hope that these are interesting and beneficial for you readers so let us know by tweeting us your feedback/ questions or general conversation at @WelshFSGrads – we’ll be waiting!
The WFS Grad Team
It’s a truth universally acknowledged (copyright of Jane Austen or Bridget Jones, whichever you prefer!) that we enjoy profiling our graduates on the Welsh Financial Services Graduate Programme and why wouldn’t we?! – They’re great! However, we rarely profile the amazing companies involved in the scheme, so we thought that we’d change things up a little bit because variety is the spice of life, or so we’ve been told! This week we’ve decided to turn our attention to the credit insurance provider, Atradius.
Atradius is not only an internationally renowned provider of Credit insurance but also one of the founding companies of the Welsh Financial Services Graduate Programme (cheers guys!) and we can proudly announce that Atradius will be one of the leading exhibitors at the Welsh Finance Conference on 29th November.
So, what is credit insurance we hear you ask? Well we were rather baffled ourselves – that was until Atradius kindly invited us into their inner-sanctum (by which we mean that they offered a number of our graduates some very rewarding and insightful placements within their company). In its simplest form, credit insurance protects businesses against delayed or non-payment from other businesses and in an increasingly uncertain business environment, credit insurance could be the difference between a business collapsing or thriving.
An example (the WFC team really enjoy a case-study) highlighting the importance of credit insurance comes in the form of UK based Softex International Limited. The textile company is a supplier to Marks & Spencer, John Lewis and Burberry among others, but when one of its smaller customers fell into administration the company was left with a £55k black hole in its finances. Without the protection afforded by Atradius the company would likely have followed its customer into bankruptcy.
Are you excited about credit insurance yet? Well there’s even more to come -read on…
In order to provide credit insurance, Atradius has to know a thing or two about the companies which it deals with – a crystal ball doesn’t quite cut it unfortunately. Atradius has a team of underwriters – all experts in their area and specialising in different trade sectors. What they don’t know about an industry really isn’t worth knowing – trust us we’ve seen them in action!
Do you think you could eat, sleep and breathe risk? If so perhaps underwriting is the role for you. If that doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, Atradius is also home to a team of Account Managers who work closely with customers to ensure that every desire is satisfied,
However, if you can’t imagine your future as an Underwriter or if Account Management is not for you, don’t worry as there’s a myriad of other exciting roles within the company, including IT, Marketing and Finance.
Also, did we mention that Atradius has 160 offices across 50 countries worldwide? So whether you want to put down some roots in Wales or spread your wings and move further afield, Atradius will be able to help you kick-start your career.
If you’re interested in learning more about Atradius and credit insurance (and why wouldn’t you be?!), drop by their stand at the WFC conference on 29th November at City Hall or visit their website: www.atradius.com.
The WFC Team
As you have probably gathered by now, the WFC team are particularly fond of long-winded paragraphs and hyperbolic sentences – however we thought we’d treat you to a shorter blog post in the form of a video. So grab yourself some popcorn and prepare for a cinematic treat (our Oscar nomination is in the post…).
Announcement – We love an announcement!!
We come bearing great news regarding the biggest event of the year! (The WFS Conference in case you have forgotten…) As you know, there will be a range of companies appearing at the conference and we are pleased to announce that DS Smith will be attending (and we couldn’t be happier!) Therefore, this week’s blog is dedicated to the company to give you all an idea of who they are, what they do and what they stand for – so without further delay…
DS Smith is one of Europe’s leading providers in sustainable packaging and recycling services with over 40 years of experience in the field! The business was started in 1940 by the Smith brothers (hence the name!) in London and have come a long way since then with over 26,000 employees in locations worldwide. While DS Smith specialise in packaging operations and manufacturing facilities, they also focus on recycling which ensure that they help their customers reduce waste and cost as well as provide a simple, environmentally friendly, high quality solution to their packaging and recycling needs.
Speaking of recycling, are you aware of the zero waste pledge? Well, you will be after reading this blog!
So what does zero waste actually mean? Well, the company states that it will turn 100% of the resources sent to them back into something useful that can be used again – Amazing! The company has said that the zero waste pledge is fundamental to their work as unlike most providers of recycling and waste management, DS Smith do not use a landfill. Instead, the company uses the ‘waste’ as resource and recycles this into something much more useful – as the company say: “there is value in your waste”.
With over 26,000 employees all dedicated to the cause, you can see how committed this company is to delivering on its zero waste pledge, amongst other things! As well as being committed to ensuring the success of the pledge, DS Smith is also heavily involved in charitable causes and fundraising, especially in the local community. The Caerphilly office is a prime example of giving back to the community as they fund the local football club with top notch uniforms so they are able to defeat the other teams in style!
So why choose DS Smith as a fresh faced graduate? Well, we’ve thought of that too! Below is a case study from a graduate who spent some time with the company over the summer to give you an idea of what working for DS Smith is like from the side of a graduate:
So why did you choose to work for DS Smith? I chose DS Smith because when I noticed the job advertisement it really caught my interest. I did some research into the company and noticed that it was aiming to grow – I thought this would be a great opportunity and a good company to be a part of.
Would you say your degree background and time in education helped to prepare you for your job role?
My studies gave me valuable transferrable skills which I could use in the work place such as good organisational and time management skills. Also, being constantly motivated in my studies has prepared me for my time here as I am constantly learning and taking in new information. I would recommend DS Smith as a good place to work to all future graduates; this is a fast paced and busy environment and I face new and exciting challenges every day so try and be prepared!
What would you say your experience has been like working for the company so far?
I have enjoyed my time here so far; it is a great company to work for and has a good social aspect as well as a good working environment. I have had the opportunity to visit two sites during my time here, which has given me a better insight into the company.
What are your future plans?
Hopefully a position will arise in the accounting side of the business, so I can hopefully start utilising my knowledge gained in university. I would like to continue studying towards my ACCA exams and plan to become a qualified accountant.
So there you have it! We are very pleased to have this amazing company appearing at our conference so if you would like to find out more, please visit their website: http://www.dssmith.com/ and make sure you stop by the DS Smith table on the 29th November – they’ll be more than happy to chat to you!
The WFC Team.
So if you’ve read our previous blog about the Prince’s Trust (and if you haven’t, scroll down as we’d recommend that you do), you’ll be aware that the Welsh Finance Conference is a non-profit organisation with all of the profits we raise being donated to the Prince’s Trust. But being the people that we are, this wasn’t enough for us. So alongside organising this conference, a few of the WFC team took it upon themselves to take part (notice how we said take part and not run) in the 10k run in Cardiff a few weeks back. Despite joining up at the last minute – we like to call it being spontaneous – in a mere fortnight we managed to raise just under £350.
We’ve asked some of the grads who ran to give us a brief insight into how they found the run now that they’ve had a chance to recover.
“I took part to help spread awareness for the Welsh Financial Conference, I think it’s very important to inform students, graduates and school leavers about the opportunities available to them within the Financial Services Sector in Wales. Due to my own misadventures and uncertainties coming out of University I know for a fact there isn’t enough information out there and we are hoping to rectify that.
Combine this with the added bonus of helping the Prince’s Trust to the tune of £350 I’m quite proud of our achievements in the 10K, even if it did reduce me to a wheezing heap post finish. Stairs were a challenge for quite a few days, and it’s put me off running at least till next year, but I’m glad to have done it for a good cause”
“Not being a runner, my immediate reaction to being asked to run the 10k was “Hahaha, no”; nonetheless, my competitive streak prevailed over my better judgement. After my first practise run however, reality returned and my eagerness for competition faded. Fortunately we were running for a great cause, the Prince’s Trust, which served as my only remaining source of motivation.
The day itself was a good laugh, for the people who came to watch us anyway. Apparently running as a banana is perfectly acceptable, but running to raise awareness of a Finance Conference was an opportunity to take the p**s. In the end we raised awareness of the conference, and a decent amount of money for the Prince’s trust, I managed to finish without throwing up (just) and avoided coming last.”
“You’re probably wondering why we decided to put ourselves through this. Yes, it’s fair to say that we do like a bit of a run (editor’s note: well, some of us…) but we also wanted to raise awareness for our conference all whilst raising a wedge of money for the Prince’s Trust.
The WFC objective is aligned with that of the Prince’s Trust, to train young people in order to ensure that they have the skills needed to pursue their future careers. We’re hoping to inspire young people to recognise the opportunities available on their doorstep in Wales thus helping to sustain the growth of the financial services sector here. Our aim is to not only run the conference as a successful business project and event but to donate 100% of our profits to the Prince`s Trust. In just two weeks, we managed to raise £350!!”
Thanks to Con, Adam and Rhiannon who also took part but were too tired to comment! Now to prepare for next year’s Cardiff Half Marathon!!
The WFC Team.
We’re back and as promised, we have a blog entry from another one of our fabulous Graduates to give you an insight into what a typical day is like in Financial Services; and this week, this great honour has been passed on to Simon. Simon recently finished his placement in Finance Wales and has just began a new placement at Optimum Credit as part of the Graduate Scheme. While he’s currently busy training for his new role, Simon has kindly offered to tell us a few things about his time at Finance Wales…
I have recently finished my placement working with Finance Wales as a Business Development Graduate. The role entails developing strategies in order to raise the profile of the business as well as an involvement within the commercial side of the business.
Throughout the rotation I have been tasked with working on a specific project set for me which built upon the previous graduates’ work; the projects aim was to identify an appropriate awareness figure of Finance Wales amongst Welsh SME’s.
The project has provided me with so many opportunities; it has allowed me to interact with a variety of individuals within the company and has also allowed me to delve into many different areas of the business from new investments to portfolio monitoring to marketing and strategy. The project has been completed with the perspectives from different teams in mind in identifying what can realistically be achieved in the short, medium and long term.
As touched upon earlier the role has also comprised a financial element. Working within new investments has allowed me to obtain an experience of commercial investments, something which I have thrived on. Learning from the knowledge and experience of individual team members within new investments has allowed for a real world application of just some of the skills I developed throughout university.
A Day in the Life Of… Simon:
I wake up and get into work for around 8:15 – early bird gets the worm and all that, or financial success in this case! I’ll also offer a round of tea – office hero is one of my names (not really).
The last few weeks have been heavily project based so finalising this has been top priority for me, I’ve also been working hard to organise the conference with the other graduates so it has been a busy few months.
I usually have a walk around town at lunch, taking advantage of the city centre location of FW and trying not to be tempted by the hundreds of shops all calling out for my bank card.
I might also squeeze in a bit of Spanish at lunchtime – Porque yo soy el hombre!
I leave the office triumphantly and march on to home to cook a bad ass meal usually embracing the vegetarian lifestyle (pasta, potatoes, rice, vegetables.. Basically anything that’s not meat.).
Once dinner is out of the way, I’ll usually watch some kind of sport like the king I am!
… Until I have to watch Hollyoaks and Made in Chelsea because I live with a girl.
It’s your favourite WFS Grad Team with an update!
As you may or may not know, the conference, on our side at least, is classed as a business; we have a dedicated finance team that looks into costs, budgets, projections and much more to ensure we stay on track to achieve our goal of running the best conference we possibly can (as well as ensuring our Marketing Team doesn’t break the bank!!)
One of our goals is to ensure that we make a substantial profit so we are able to make as large a donation as possible to a charity of our choosing.
This year, we have voted as a collective group and unanimously decided that our chosen charity will be….
The Prince’s Trust!
In honor of this great organization, we have decided to give you an insight into who they are and what they do and provide 5 facts that you may not have known about the trust!
5 things you need to know about The Prince’s Trust:
- Did you know that it was actually the Prince of Wales himself that came up with the idea to start this amazing organization? In 1976 having completed his duty in the Royal Navy, His Royal Highness became dedicated to improving the lives of disadvantaged young people in the UK. He founded His Trust to deliver on that commitment.
- The Prince’s Trust aims to work with and support young people between the ages of 13-30 to achieve their goals and it is estimated that they will support over 59,000 young people across the UK this year alone! In total, the Prince’s Trust has helped over 825,000 young people since it began!
- There are currently eight core programmes offered which cover Mentoring, Education, Development as well as Enterprise which focuses on employment and there are many more too! In addition to the core programmes, the Trust also works with key partners on initiatives to aide young people in obtaining full time work.
- There are many success stories listed on the website including some of our own from Wales: Janine White, who studied design in University, found that through the work, training, support and mentoring that the Prince’s Trust had provided her with, she was able to start her own business. As of this year, she entered her work into a competition which she then won! Her winning designs will be showcased in a fashion show for the retailer Oasis at the end of this year – Result!
- This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the Prince’s Trust which was celebrated at Buckingham Palace on 17th May 2016, His Royal Highness, Prince Charles was awarded a portrait to commemorate the work the Trust had done; which was composed of the images of the hundreds of people the Prince’s Trust has helped in the last 40 years.
If you would like to find out more about the Princes Trust, please visit their website on: https://www.princes-trust.org.uk/
Until Next Time..
The WFS Grad Team
Ladies and Gentleman – meet Joel Williams! Joel is 1/40th of the WFS Grad Team and has kindly offered to be interviewed regarding his experience of attending the first Wales Financial Conference. Joel has successfully obtained a full time job through the WFS Graduate Scheme as an Underwriter and has kindly offered to tell us all about that too… What a gent.
Why did you go to the last WFC?
The previous graduates came to my university and promoted the conference as a place for answers – I was working towards completing my degree at the time (Accounting & Finance) and had a lot of questions so it seemed like the right place to go! I wasn’t sure what options were open to me and the conference definitely seemed like the place to find out what those options were.
What did you get out of attending the Conference?
I liked that there were seminars as well as the opportunity to speak one-on-one with industry specialists as this really made the conference stand out for me. The job fair was also a great opportunity to network and see some of the job opportunities available.
How has it helped you in your current role?
I don’t think I would be in my current role if I didn’t attend the WFC that day. I had no idea that the skills I gained throughout my studies would complement my current role as much as they do.
A day in the life of Underwriting: By Joel Williams
As an underwriter, I am assigned to manage a portfolio of buyers within my sector and I receive cases relating to these buyers through my workflow tray. These cases can vary from assessing a credit limit application to an annual review or updating financial/ buyer information.
My work day starts like many others would; by checking my emails. It sounds simple but if any of my buyers have attempted to contact me directly, I need to ensure that I am able to take the relevant action to answer their query. Emails and communication in general is an important part of my role as I need to establish a good relationship with the buyers in my portfolio.
To review a credit limit application on one of my buyers, I will review a number of different factors before issuing a decision; the financial and sector performance, the history of the buyer as well as the management team at the organization are all aspects I would assess to name a few! In some instances, I will even go to meet with the buyers to gain a greater understanding of the organization which is always interesting!
Another part of my role involves setting limit amounts on buyers that I would be happy to authorize without needing to view the application; as some credit limits can be issued automatically through our online system. If a credit limit application is above what I would feel comfortable with however, I would then need to review the application myself.
My day ends like most others.. by leaving to go home.
Thanks to Joel for kindly agreeing to the interview! We’ll be issuing more blogs like this to give you a better insight into possible career paths available within Financial Services; if you have any questions or roles you’d like to see featured – please contact us as we’d love to hear from you! – THE WFS Grad Team
Welcome to our very first blog. We hope that you’re as excited as we are to read the following 50,000 word essay detailing our exact plans for the upcoming conference over the next few months, down to the very last detail…
We’re joking of course! The aim of our blog posts is to be short, snappy, interesting and informative and more importantly to keep you guys in the loop about the upcoming conference.
This first ever entry is just an introduction to say hello and let you know the kind of things that you can expect from us in the lead-up to the big event (the Conference in case you forgot..).
We hope to have interesting, thought-provoking articles, as well as a “Day in the Life Of…” style entry from the current grads on the scheme to give you an idea of what a typical day in financial services is really like, and no – it isn’t all Wolf of Wall Street!!
Keep an eye out for our next blog entry, we’re hoping to get out at least two entries per month, but maybe more if we’re feeling extra blog-y, and we do love to talk!
The WFS grad team.
P.S. If you’d like to know anything Conference or graduate scheme based, or anything about financial services in general, get in touch and we may be able to help – or even better, write a blog on it!!!